View synonyms for weakness


[ week-nis ]


  1. the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, or the like; feebleness.

    Synonyms: fragility

    Antonyms: strength

  2. an inadequate or defective quality, as in a person's character; slight fault or defect:

    to show great sympathy for human weaknesses.

    Synonyms: flaw

  3. a self-indulgent liking or special fondness, as for a particular thing:

    I've always had a weakness for the opera.

    Synonyms: appetite, hunger, passion, penchant

  4. an object of special desire; something very difficult to resist:

    Chocolates were her weakness.


/ ˈwiːknɪs /


  1. the state or quality of being weak
  2. a deficiency or failing, as in a person's character
  3. a self-indulgent fondness or liking

    a weakness for chocolates

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Other Words From

  • non·weakness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of weakness1

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English waikenes, weikenes. See weak, -ness

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Idioms and Phrases

see have a weakness for .

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Synonym Study

See fault.

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Example Sentences

There are some serious weaknesses in Cooper’s fledgling outing as writer and director, but these weaknesses are covered over by the galvanic chemistry between Cooper and Gaga.

Many if not all people may have very specific genetic vulnerabilities, such as weaknesses in their immune system, that go unnoticed until one particular pathogen crosses their path.

Knowing the details of your brand health will help you see the strengths and weaknesses of your branding, and help you decide on the future actions regarding it.

A side-channel attack is one that doesn’t exploit weaknesses in the underlying cryptographic system, but instead in the way it is implemented in software and hardware.

Poland does, however, find “interesting” the idea that rain could cause weaknesses in the ground that lead to lava eruptions.

In fact, experts in airport security have long worried about this weakness.

Koenig apologies for what she seems to treat as a sign of weakness.

She became extremely unpopular and was widely blamed for the King's growing weakness as he aged.

A situation like the current one is likely to accentuate his weakness.

Yes, 2014 was a big Republican win, but this idea that Obama showed exceptional weakness in the midterms is simply inaccurate.

More foolish, more culpable weakness was never shown than in thus yielding to these schemes.

He was guilty of the weakness of taking refuge in what is called, I believe, in legal phrase, a side-issue.

Allcraft winced, as every syllable made known the speaker's actual strength—his own dependence and utter weakness.

Cleverly though they manipulate, cleanliness is not their besetting weakness.

Again, he may grow faint and dizzy when he has climbed only a part of the way, or he may lose his hold from very weakness.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




weak moment, in aweak nuclear force